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Meals & Confessions from a Tiny Kitchen

Three. I watched three video tutorials on snapchat. Welcome to 31.

brimckoy on snapchat 1

A few weeks ago I was talking to some friends about the writing life and blogging recipes and they encouraged me to get on snapchat. They explained that it’s a great space to share my meals or just life in the kitchen with Beau.

You know I try to live in the kitchen.

This obviously sounded irresistible so I downloaded the app. I’d love to sit here and tell you all my embarrassing fumblings while trying to figure this thing out (What do you mean the image/video goes away after 24 hours? I cannot import an image – a carefully selected one that I have deemed AMAZING?!).

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Now I’m up and running and nearing a step above obsessed.

I feel a crazy kind of youthful on snapchat. The kind of youth we all wore when we weren’t judging ourselves so hard. The kind of youth that throws all our art out into the world because we are trying to learn what kind of art catches. What sparks.

So, there’s nothing fancy from me on the snaps. No staged food pictures. No long prose about my heart (hi, instagram!).

Just me. Completely me. In all my me-ness!

I love that I can share with you a quick clip of me in the kitchen. I have also been using it to talk about my process with writing the book.

Here is a video I posted of our typical night making a meal (last Wednesday):


Also, I started calling Snapchat “snappy”  or “the snaps” because we’re tight like that now. TONIGHT I am going to do some snaps of my kitchen because ever since I moved into the infamously tiny beach house you all keep asking me about my kitchen. I’d obviously rather just have you over but a lot of you live so far away.

So this is an invitation to come see my kitchen & my life with Beau and all my me-ness on the snaps! Username: brimckoy

Onto other very important things! I know.

I always say that if I could – I would live in one giant kitchen. This is where life happens anyway – at least life at our house. Moving into a house with a tiny kitchen felt a little shattering (you know our story of recently moving into a tiny house). I was sure we were taking steps backwards from our dream, not forwards.

Also, no dishwasher. Also, no countertop space.

Here’s what I learned.

A kitchen is what you make it.

And it is your kitchen so assemble as you need – for your life. I knew I needed counter space for meal prep. I also like a little bar top area where guests can sit or stand, enjoying drinks and snacks while we’re cooking!

I used to be the hostess that liked everything prepared and ready to eat when people arrived. Unfortunately this was making me a neurotic mess and nobody wants to be around that. So we decided that we need to always make sure there is space in our kitchen for us to keep cooking while people arrive. But they can still hang out with us. And I will be very pleasant and not sobbing in the corner.

Priorities.

So we made that happen. When you first walk in it looks like there is absolutely no room for guests and maybe the kitchen is not the place to be.

oursavorylife kitchen 1

I decided to create an optical illusion by placing two Target barstools against the small counter to symbolize it as a place for guests to gather.

oursavorylife kitchen 5

This is also my counter space (re: tiny kitchen) so I put my cutting board there as my designated prep space. It worked out perfect. People immediately gather right there!

I also like to have my go-to dishes and pans and bowls displayed because it is easy decoration and it is easy to get to. A hanging pot rack was already here which is AMAZING because now my pots and pans are so accessible and do not take up the small cabinet space we have.

oursavorylife kitchen 7

The area behind the barstools is technically our dining room but we were not having that. I extended the kitchen to have another prep area and a large rack for my dishes. I have seen people do this with book cases which I think is so dreamy.

oursavorylife kitchen 9

We end up eating on our patio which has a lot more space for dining and also California weather – so we can eat outside almost year round.

oursavory life patio

Then there is the very absent dishwasher.

oursavorylife kitchen 2

I thought I would be counting down the days until I could use a dishwasher again BUT this has not been the case.

Important: everyone in the family takes responsibility for their dishes. Also, Beau and I always do dishes together because it is faster. And being at the sink with him washing dishes every evening has quickly become one of my favorite times with him. It is usually right before bedtime and we just get to wind down and talk about the next day. We never really used to have this kind of decompression before. I like it. And just to be clear – we also have had a fight or two or eight on some nights while at the sink. It’s not all sweet words and how much we love each other. But it’s still life together.

This tiny kitchen has forced us to be intentional about how we gather people in our home. It has kicked up the respect game 100 fold. And it is always good to be growing in respect. Always. It has also forced me to be very intentional about the purpose of my kitchen.

oursavorlife kitchen 3

When we moved out of our Columbia home (the kitchen was about 5 times the size we have now) I found 10 (TEN!) bags of nuts – amongst other things. It was easy for me to purchase things and forget about them. Not here, we can see everything we purchase and we only have space for one of that thing.

This also includes appliances and utensils and dishes. So when I am in Target about to buy the whole kitchen section I have to stop and think where I would put it all. I have to be really, really intentional.

Basically all the things that I thought would drive me crazy about this small kitchen have made me even more joyful. It’s made me more thoughtful. And a lot more intentional. What I have learned is that people never needed to be invited into a big kitchen in the first place, they just needed to be invited into your heart. Into your mess. Into your love.

Giving them a drink as soon as they arrive also helps 😉

Whether you have a big kitchen (I swoon!) or a small kitchen – we get to be creative with our space. We make the space work for us! We tell the space how we want our people to feel.  I have found myself saying to my kitchen a lot these past few months, “It’s ok that you are so very tiny! The people coming over have very big hearts and they are the star of the show – so you don’t have to be.”

Ok, your turn! What have you learned from life in your kitchen?! Whether it is small or big or lime green or hot pink. Tell me your confessions in the comments. xoxo

Oh and remember – I’ll do a little walk through on the snaps tonight 😉

Username: brimckoy

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  • Kate Katie TurnerJuly 7, 2016 - 4:37 pm
    YES! The house we rented when we first got married had THE BIGGEST KITCHEN EVER - it was the largest room in the house and we had so many cupboards we literally could not fill them all. Counter top space as far as the eye could see! An island! Gigantic drawers! Then we house bought a small, older house near downtown and the kitchen is maaaybe a third, probably a fourth of it's size - and no dishwasher. I wondered how on earth I could adapt! We must remodel as soon as possible! But I have found that I love my tiny kitchen. I painted the walls my favorite color and yes, I have to be intentional and organized - and it's wonderful. I can still make delicious meals. People still want to hang out in there while I finish meal prep. And I really don't mind doing the dishes by hand, either. Plus, less coutner space = less clean up. That's a win. Let's hear it for the small kitchens!

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  • HollyJuly 8, 2016 - 5:11 pm
    It's so fun learning more about your move, and you and your kitchen! (I'm a fairly recent visitor/follower) I don't think I have ever had a big kitchen, so I am fortunate to have the "don't buy it, it won't fit" mentality for a while now, though that doesn't keep me from drooling in any kitchen store! :) I would love to get in the habit of having people over more often, well...ever... I have found that yes, creativity expands when space seems to shrink. Thank you for sharing your hospitality and heart with us all.

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  • Alana NelsonJuly 11, 2016 - 2:25 am
    Gosh, this is the gorgeous! I don't think we have much counter space at all but you've shown me some ways to make it work - thanks!

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hello love...

Welcome! I'm Bri! Accidental home cook. Lover of gathering people around a table over a meal. Author of Come & Eat (September 2017). What I really want is to pull out a chair for you at my table. But until then, I hope you stay awhile and enjoy my stories + recipes! 

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